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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  February 6, 2013 9:00am-10:00am PST

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the gop has a new strategy. the media is the message. it's wednesday, february 6, and this is now. joining me today, rick hertzburg of the new yorker. i can't read anything on this teleprompter. author of thomas jefferson, the art of power. a drum roll, please, for random house executive editor john meacham making his debut. and matt haberman and mr. sunday morning himself. the republican party isn't just getting a new do.
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they're going for a full makeover. majority leader eric cantor, who voted down the dream act just two years ago, appeared to evolve on immigration yesterday backing a path to citizenship for dreamers. >> one of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. and it is time to provide an opportunity for legal residents and citizenship for those who are brought to this country as children and who know no other home. >> but when cantor was asked if he backs rubio's proposal on immigration reform, he would only say will this. >> i've not looked at the details of what the senate has put out.will this. >> i've not looked at the details of what the senate has put out.ill this. >> i've not looked at the details of what the senate has put out.ll this. >> i've not looked at the details of what the senate has put out. this. >> i've not looked at the details of what the senate has put out. this. >> i've not looked at the details of what the senate has put out. >> and when john boehner was asked of the idea, he was it was worthy of consideration but did not voice any support. so perhaps the makeover is only skin deep. dana millbank writes in recent
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weeks, republican leaders have resembled nothing so much as laundry detergent salesman figuring if they can rebrand their product, high efficiency stain lifter clean breeze concentrated 23re ed fresh, ame will buy what they're selling. if the gop is sending mixed messages on imbrace, another schism is brewing on fiscal policy. while republican leadership is taking a hard line threatening to let the sequesters take effect, florida republican tom rooney said i think any alternative is better than allowing the sequester to take effect. i don't know what's happened with some people in our conference recently. if you could say would you recall holler at the pentagon or increase taxes, i would assume the latter to make sure that we didn't lose our capability to maintain our super power status. as conservatives celebrate what would have been ronald reagan's 102nd birthday, a reminder that even the beginner raised taxes
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11 times during his presidency in compromise with democrats. given that, finding common ground both inside and outside the party might not be such a bad look. john meacham, i will give you the first question. welcome to the program. we're so happy to have you here. >> thank you. >> is this rebranding effort going to work for the republican party? >> it might because it depends himself on what it is rebranding itself against as events unfold. so president obama has about 12 months here. >> don't you think in terms of who they are rebranding against, the competition, if you will, if we're talking marketplace term, the democrats thus far, for the most part the democrats kind of have it together in a way they historically have not. >> well, sort of. i mean, we still don't have a budget. we don't have a grand bargain in
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terms of social insurance reform and taxes beyond the top clinton rate. so i think to say the democrats are operating at a higher proficiency level at the moment politically that's true, how long that lasts is the question. and without -- it's interesting because their fates are linked. if the republicans don't play a partnership role as you were saying to find some common ground, then i think the whole system once again is going to become evermore dysfunctional in the eyes of the voters. >> can it get more dysfunctional? there have been many iterations of cantor. on immigration, he backs the path to citizenship on some. on guns, he wants to improve current back joupd checks but is inconclusive as far as fight tightening or increasing an
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expansion of background checks. and he tries to shift the conversation away from fiscal policy because i think cantor understands, and perhaps correctly so, that republicans don't care about the american electorate or middle class, they just care about cutting taxes. so he wants this kinder friendlier gop message. the problem is there are still the people in -- there are still the same people in the house caucus that there always have been. which is to say a bufrk of conservatives who don't want to push the ball towards the middle. >> i think you hit on it in your introduction. we're talking about to a point. we're not seeing any evidence so far. lots of words moving across the screen about how we want to, you know respect perhaps have a pathway to citizenship but i won't comment on the senate bill. i do think this is a good idea, but i don't know how we get there. this is where the republicans remain among themselves. it is true that each side depends on the other, but i
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think republicans are operating from a pretty weakened hand right now and i don't think cantor did much beyond sort of cosmetics in terms of seeming kindler and geptlntler. everything is something of a nod toward the 47 respect, the crystallization of how they view the gop message. >> we had michael steele on the show yesterday and he said the democrats went through a similar crisis 20 years ago and they formed various committees, they circled the wagons and figured out a new path forward for the democratic party. do you think that this is parallel what is happening inside republican party to what happened inside the -- sorry, what's happening in the republican party is parallel or comparable to what happened inside the democrat he can party two decades ago? >> it has a lot of the same elements. i don't think it's quite the same. i think the internal dynamics
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are so different in what they were the democratic party 20, 30 years ago that it's not that comparable. by the way, john, so glad to hear you call it social insurance reform, not entitlement reform. i hate that word. >> or earned benefit. >> an example of how democrats have seeded the ideological battle that they've embraced that term, which initially they resi resisted. at least pat money moynihan resisted it. >> everybody's trying to find the republican bill clinton.ney resisted it. >> everybody's trying to find the republican bill clinton.ey resisted it. >> everybody's trying to find the republican bill clinton.y m resisted it. >> everybody's trying to find the republican bill clinton.moy it. >> everybody's trying to find the republican bill clinton.oyn it. >> everybody's trying to find the republican bill clinton. good luck. they made one and that's it. for better or worse depending on your point of view. what happened was a rethinking. it was not a repackaging. and it was a move and rick i suspect is not -- still not all that happy with that move, but it was an ideological move toward markets, toward competition, toward a more
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centrist position. the republicans have made no sign, in fact, have shown if anything in terms of the gun issue have shown that quite where they're going to be. and so the dlc analogy with only be applicable once the republicans make some move toward the senate. >> and then there's a question whether the american public is actually even listening to the spin part of this. like do they even need to hear eric cantor, whether it resonates. >> i think one thing it clearly showed is that there is still a significant part of the republican party who thinks their problems are marketing related. it's about getting the message across without looking at the whether there's a basic conflict with their ideas. and so i think maybe not that many people are really paying attention at the moment. so they're trying. they're seeing is eric can tort right messaenger for this.
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>> with due respect to congressman can are tore, how many americans know who any individual member of congress is? >> this is also true. i come want to talk abowant to contentious issue. there will be an argument on the left and one on the right. in terms of the sequester, the looming fiscal fight that we have, the president was out yesterday saying you got to avert the sequester. but about anyo if anyone is the loser here, it seems like the democrats kind of win here insofar as you have $550 billion cut from defense and nondefense over ten years,
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but the programs that democrats or the left care most about which is to say social security, food stamps, those are exempted from this. it does hurt. i mean, we're talking about 7.6 to 9.6 cuts across the board for fema, for the tsa, for hud. but at the end of the day, the defense cuts, i mean, we're talking about a huge chunk of change that comes from the against industry and the loss potentially of a million jobs at a time when republicans are saying we need to focus on job growth. >> i think it is a bit of an unknown in terms of how exactly it plays. i think republicans are going into this as i said before especially after the fight that we saw a couple weeks ago, i think that it is very hard for republicans in their districts to sell defense cuts as something that was necessary. and, yes, this absolutely had to happen. however, my asterisk on this is that i think anytime you have something like this that is sort of unwielddy and unknown, there is no way that it won't be
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somewhat problematic for the president. >> i think somewhat problematic is understating it. sequestration is not a win for anybody. i think the gdp report from the fourth quarter, negative growth the first time in i don't know many quarters was i think a real warning signal to how really fragile and weak the economy is and something like a sizable cut from the defense budget is not a win for the democrats right now. it's a potentially like very hard blur to the economy. and i think as difficult as the political environment is now, imagine if we went back into a recession and ma'am how it would 145r7en up the edges of the deba debate. it would be brewle it will for everybody. so i don't think sequestration will happen. i think we're just following the exact same script we did for the fiscal cliff. everybody right now i think the democrats and republicans are basically in agreement, they want to put it off, but they want to blame the other party for putting it it off. and i think that's the dynamic that's happening right now. >> if we're following that script, that was not a script that ultimately played well for
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house republicans. >> i agree, it didn't play well, but it's not a big victory for the democrats. >> i don't disagree, but i think the general public -- the numbers are pretty bad. >> we also did this -- people forget this, but it also happened in senior president bush and helped lead to the budget act of the andrews air force base that actually as president clinton will tell you set the stage for the prosperity of the '90s. >> also got last the next election. >> but maybe it's the pest mist th pessimist in me. i'm not sure you can do something substantive without the draconian -- waithout a mea cleaver. i don't think they can have a conversation and make compromise. >> nondefense discretionary
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spending is 12%. you won't solve the problem with big bird. and what it requires is more presidential leadership explaining the social insurance problems and medicare issues because that's where the long term problem is. >> right now the presidential leadership is coming in the form of saying please do not let us go through with sequestration. so we'll see what the next one is after that. when we come back, president obama hones his recipe for pitching his second term agenda. a dash of populism, a pinch of skepticism. we will look at the ingredients when former white house chief of staff john podesta joins us next on now oig. all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock.
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the commitments we make to each other through medicaid and medicare and social security, they don't zap our initiative, will th they strengthen us. they do not make us a nation of taker, they free us to take the risks in a make this country great. >> ale lies a l allies and foes the obama of the second term emerge, everyone senses a difference from the obama of the first. it's not that there is a new obama, ala the many nixons of old, but the harm onizing conciliatory side of the political and personal character has been eclipsed by the side of him that is at once more insist ept and more visionary. and emboldened obama is
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demanding lawmakers include more revenue in any sequester deal on top of the tax increases he won in the fiscal cliff passage. it is this same obama who is making gun reform a top priority in the face of historic opposition. and it is the same obama who has promised to move forward with his own immigration bill if the is that the doesn't bring him one by march. to get it done, the president has developed a strategy. according to politico, quote, president obama's speeches have a familiar ring these days. tout what he's already done, say the public's in his corner, demand congress do something, lament washington dysfunction, layout his own plan, avoid details, urge voters to keep up the pressure. while the belly aching from gop leadership has also become a predictable response to this new strategy, what remains to be seen is whether and how the new playbook will score actual legislative wins for the president and his agenda. among the questions, how much does the president need to work with congressional democrats to ensure they score for the home
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team. politico reports that one of the most well connected democrats in the capital said he came away from a recent meeting with hill democrats astonished at the contempt they have for our president. and that feeling may be mutual. the same article reports some members of team obama dismissed their allies on the hill as conventional wisdom drin hacks, lacking the sort of political chops they possess at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. best frenemies? maybe. this morning the president obama huddled up at their annual retreat in annapolis and tomorrow in virginia. could it give rise to renewed te team spirit some senator mccaskill said it's not a favorite part of the job, but it is a necessary part of the job. joining us from washington is former white house chief of staff and chairman of the center for american progress john podesta. always great to have you on the show. >> nice to be with you. >> and especially when there is
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intrigue like this. let's talk first about the president, his agenda going forward. whether it's ambitious or not, there is some debate around that. is it a liberal agenda, is it not. but either way, he wants to see some legislation pass through the halls of congress. and i guess given that and given the short time frame in which he has to work, do you think he needs to have a bigger or more robust relationship with members of his own team on the hill? >> well, i think he's got a good relationship with democrats on the hill. i think there's a little bit of carping in the background about whether or not they get invited enough down to the white house to spend social time with hill. but the reality is they're on the same page, they have the same priorities, they're looking at the same issues in very much the same way. and i think that he has the strong allegiance of leadership
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on both sides andic that's something that he can count on on. and i think the earlier part of that story that you read in which -- pretty well described the strategy. we don't have a new obama, it's a new strategy. and it's one in which he'll press the case and press it in public. and i think so far it's working. >> you wrote about the more visionary obama and a sort of return to liberalism, if you will, or at least it's now okay to say liberal in a way that maybe it hasn't been in a while. what do you make of john's comment that this isn't a new obama, it's a new strategy? >> if you read obama's books which is why i fell for the guy, reading him will, it's no surprise that he is essentially a liberal. he's essentially in that tradition. and it's a proud tradition. he doesn't use the word himself. but the fact that the "new york times" a banner headline and all
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these papers just use it. that used to be like swearing in public. well, it's okay to swear this public now. so everyone the word liberal -- >> this is a family show. >> i think what the side of all this that we haven't seen is, yes, he's demanding these things out of congress. he's not going to get all of them. he may get none of them or he hey get close to none of them. and then the question is what's the side of obama do we see then. do we finally get to see the angry obama. and i think a lot depends on the answer to that. i think that he still has to show fight at some point. >> but he has to show it now. he can't wait to have these things not pass and then get angry then. i think that the immigration reform is a huge potential winner for bap and for the democrats. especially with the pathway to
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citizenship aspect of it, that allows him to make a strong statement about social justice and fairness. it puts them in an angry posture. if they're going into this if we lose then we'll start fighting, i think this is it. this is the game right now. >> but, john, i think we're seeing -- the president obama is certainly impassioned. politico sort of outlines a strategy and it's a recipe, but that doesn't mean that the passion for the issues isn't there. i think he really does want and believe that we should have some kind of immigration reform. though as far as the fiscal matter, i think that's where we have a big question mark in terms of how passionate he'll be in terms of fighting for one thing versus the other. and certainly he's going to need some kind of ambassador to the hill.
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we saw during the fiscal cliff i won't call it a debacle, during the negotiations, at the end of the day, it was joe biden who went up to congress and got it done. i'll read an exermt frexcerpt f reuters. senator obama was here for 30 minutes. senator biden was here for 30 years. he's a lot less cocky, doesn't hog the conversation, and he understands it said an aide to a senior republican senator. the hill doesn't -- never really liked jack lew. they now have dennis mcdonough as a chief of staff. deputy chief of staff seems more of aliked personality. do you think joe biden should be playing more of an active role as the actual legislative back and forth gets under way? >> well, i think vice president biden's a real asset for the president and i think he will spend more time on the hill. but these guys are seasoned and experienced. dennis of course worked for tom daschle for many years. he knows people up there. he knows how the kind of rhythms of the hill. i think if you take these issues
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kind of one at a time, he's got a very, very good chance of getting immigration reform done. the republicans are back on their heels. they've sought compromise. the gang of eight has produced real forward momentum. i'm confident he'll be able to achieve success there. guns is i think tougher. but when you begin that conversation with 93% of americans, including 93% of households that own a gun saying they think there should be mandatory universal background check, i think you can get some thing wills done there. i think that's a little tougher. and then with respect to the fiscal cliff, we saw what happened at the end of the year. he hung tough. he demanded revenue. he got his priorities done. i think it was -- and he came out of if where improving his job approval and the republicans came out of it with their job approval weakened. so i think the next couple of
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months might be a repeat of that, but at the end of the day, the president is willing to compromise on some extent, but he's also willing to fight when he needs to. >> john, you had a question. >> my memo of the mid-90s is that president clinton was fortunate with his enemy, speaker gingrich and others. so that was part of the success. but also in '96, '97, the function president clinton played in explaining what he wanted to do clearly helped the domestic agenda. am i remembering that right, is his -- do you think a strength and a lesson from president clinton is this public leadership, this education function? >> i really agree with that and i think that people used -- people in your business really used to complain about the president's length of his state of the unions. but really he thought of that as a time where i can really lay this out, i can slain to people what i'm trying to achieve, i can reup my contract with the american people about what's
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positive, his job approval as i said always went up when he did that. but i think that really is a critical element of what a president needs to do in the second term. the other thing he needs to do is use the full force of his executive power. when it comes to moving on clean energy and climate change, when it comes to implementing health care, when it comes to many of the president's other priorities, he's not going to get a lot of help from the republicans on capitol hill, but he can achieve success through the deft use now in the process of building out his second term cabinet, more use of the cabinet to try to get those things done. i think it will be critical for his success. >> before we let you go, there's always talk about the president needing to be more like bill clinton on a number of levels. but one thing seems to have changed in the last few weeks. and president obama does seem to be enjoying the office of president more than he did perhaps in the first term.
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there is a distinct pep in his step, nocorette chewing gum piece in his office. do you agree? >> i saw him the week after the election in a meeting on the first fiscal cliff. and what was remarkable to me was how confident he was. how he came off that election feeling i think that he had matt case to the american people, they had sent him back to washington to fight for them, and i think that's gone right through the inauguration and to today. he looks like he's enjoying the job. i think that he has got a kind of serious strategy of how to get success in a second term and, yeah, i think he's having a pretty good time right now and he likes being around the country which he's doing more of, as well, not getting stuck in washington, not being a prime minister, but being president of
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all the american people. >> big dog 2.0. john podesta, thank you as always. >> does this mean nicorette is the fdr version in the 20th century? >> full circle. coming up, education reformer michelle rhee has never shied away from controversial measures in the name of improving public schools. we will discuss some of her breaks with convention when she joins us just ahead. this is so sick! i can't believe your mom let you take her car out. this is awesome! whoooo! you're crazy. go faster! go faster! go faster! go faster! no! stop...stop... (mom) i raised my son to be careful... hi, sweetie. hi, mom. (mom) but just to be safe...
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>> does this mean nicorette is joins us just ahead. asional have constipation,
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teacher this is seattle's largest public school have been boycotting a standardized test used to evaluate students and theps f themselves for more than a month and now they have support from parents. parts of more than 300 students signed waivers exempting them from the examine even after the superintendent ordered the testing to continue. and the teachers union launched a campaign backing efforts to eliminate standardized nonstate mandated tests. defenders of the test say they are needed to monitor student progress and teacher effectiveness. former d.c. public school chancellor michelle rhee has fought for greater accou accountabili accountability.
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rhee fired feecheteachers and principles that did not meet the grade and closed 23 public schools. rhee argues the culture of education has lost its spirit of competition. "we've gone soft as a nation, we don't want anyone to feel bad so we tell everyone they're great. teachers are teaching well. students are getting promoted. even if it they can't read or add. we are creating a skewed and unhealthy dynamic." joining the panel is michelle rhee. thanks for coming on. and congratulations on the book out on tuesday. >> thank you. >> so chancellor rhee, there's a story in the book where you talk about going to seoul and you describe a year where all students are given a rank based on their ability and everybody knows who is first and who is 18th. which sounds to someone who has recurring nightmares about being in school like a horrifyingly competitive atmosphere. i guess i wonder as we look at
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the trend lines, being more inclusive, having a more harmonious environment, seems to be the vogue. and you're advocating for at least more transparency. >> i think what we need is honesty. as long as we're telling all kid, yeah, you're doing well even if you're not, it causes a problem. i was in compton, california not too long ago and i was meeting with a mom, and she had an experience that i think was very interesting. she had an elementary school daughter who all through elementary school had gotten straight as. so she was proud of her daughter, thought she was doing really well. and then when it came time to go to middle school, she wanted her daughter to apply for one of the city wide magnet schools and the people said she doesn't qualify because she doesn't have the the kills and knowledge that she needs. and the mom said what do you mean? she's gotten all as. and they said, no, look at her skills assessment. and the mom was horrified. and felt betrayed because she said if my kid is not able to compete with other kids in the city or other kids in the nation, i should know that. she shouldn't be getting all a
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and lulling me into a sense of complacency when she doesn't have what she needs. so while i think that we shouldn't have an overemphasis on the test and that is happening in some places, we have to have some accountability. >> and that leads to the yes question of standardized testing. it's a one size fits all measureme measurement. what do you say to that? >> i think we can always do a better job of making sure that we have great assessments, but we have to have a starting point. and we cannot continue to have school districts that produce generations of kids who cannot read and write on grade level because then they don't have the skills that they need to get good jobs and be productive members of society. >> let's talk here about the role of teachers. because in the ed reform debate, there has been a lot of i think -- i'm all for transparen
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transparency, i went to the d.c. public school system and i went through it, through high school, which in and of itself was an accomplishment. and i had some teach great teachers and some really terrible teachers. i think there's a tendency to paint the teachers with a broad brush and highlight ineffectiveness in the classroom rather than their effectiveness. at a time when we need to be encouraging more to go into the teaching profession, is there a better goal? >> i think the did distinction needs to be made between teachers and teachers unions. ic i think those two things get confused. people who oppose organized labor views on reformc i think confused. people who oppose organized labor views on reform i think t confused. people who oppose organized labor views on reformi think th confused. people who oppose organized labor views on reform tend to paint with that broad brush all teachers. >> the union question is one -- we look at support for unions,
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labor unions, in this country and it's declined dramatically in the last two decades. and on a parallel track, so have wages for middle and working class americans. and in some part, i think they are enter represeinterrelated, support for an honest day's work at an honest day's wage. and to some degree the conversation, as poisonous as it's gotten, has not been particularly good for working class americans. >> it certainly hasn't. my mother was a schoolteacher, 7th grade public schoolteacher. and in the pre-union era. unions brought a lot of self respect to teachers. they had often been bullied and were treated not as professio l professionals at all. i want to ask chancellor rhee about class size. i don't know any teachers who don't think that it's better to
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to have a smaller class. and that's easy to measure. no debating on whether the number of kids in the class is an accurate measure of how many kids are in the class. do you think that's important and how does the relate to the way schools are financed? >> class size actually matter as lot less than teacher quality. there's been studies done showing what is the impact of having a high quality teacher in the classroom versus reducing the class size from 28 to 26 kids, et cetera. and it shows your investment is better off making sure you have a highly effective teacher in front of kids every single day. so that's what other focus is, making sure we have the highly effective teachers. and think we have to do something as a nation to make sure that we are valuing and respecting teachers for the incredible job that they're doing. because the vast majority of teachers are doing heroic work for not enough pay. and elevating the teaching
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profession is something that they've done in other countries that are doing quite well. in south korea and finland, it is seen in society as a very respectable job w4e. >> middle schoolteachers in america earn 69% of what average college educators work. >> what role especially in a public school system like new york city, what role does special education have and what should the focus be? >> special education i think is such a bear for so much districts because there are so many requirement, so much paperwork. vast majority he saend up not b able to provide what they should. and when i was in d.c., we found there were so many special needs teaches who were so overburdened
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with all of the paperwork and bureaucracy that it really impacted their ability to be effective in the classroom. so that's where they need the training, they have to get the staff supports that they need in order to be successful with their kids. >> michelle, before we let you go, in terms of coming to some kind of compromise or working together, this debate inspires great passion because people oftentimes it's their own children that they're talking about, teachers are very passionate about the work that they do. it is not easy about being a teacher in america. as we go forward, do you feel like the lines of communication are opening or do you feel like each side is as entrenched as it has been 1234. >> i think the debates can become polarized and to avoid that, you need look at the policies in terms of is it right, are these the same decisions we would make for our own children. because it's easy to say if you have an ineffective teacher, should you invest in make them better and all that sort of
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stuff. but if you ask are you willing to put your kid in that classroom, there's not a person around that would say, oh, yeah, let them experiment on my kid. and if that's the case, we have to create public policy that is in the best interests of every single parent and every child. >> the name of the book is radical. out this tuesday. thank you as always. coming up, amid accusations that his inner circle lacks diversity, president obama is poised to add another lady to his cabinets. we'll take a look at the president's pick for interior secretary just ahead. in america today we're running out of a vital resource we need to compete on the global stage. what we need are people prepared for the careers of our new economy. by 2025 we could have 20 million jobs without enough college graduates to fill them. that's why at devry university, we're teaming up with companies like cisco to help make sure everyone is ready with the know-how we need for a new tomorrow. [ male announcer ] make sure america's ready.
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or treat gas with these after you get it. now that's like sunblock before or sun burn cream later. oh, somebody out there's saying, now i get it! take beano before and there'll be no gas. big time taste should fit in a little time cup. new single serve cafe collections from maxwell house now available for use in the keurig k-cup brewer. always good to the last drop. president obama is set to tap the chief of a multibillion-dollar outdoor equipment company to be his next secretary of the interior. white house press secretary jay carney discussed the president's pick just moments ago. >> she's uniquely qualified for
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that job with years of experience managing a nearly $2 billion a year company, she will bring to the position integrity, team management skills as well as dedication to the department's mission of managing our nation's lands. trained as an engineer, she has broad private sector experience in energy and finance as well as a commitment to conservation. >> something tells me he wasn't saying that totally off the tough. we'll take a closer look at sally jewel's resume after the break. at 1:45, the aflac duck was brought in with multiple lacerations to the wing and a fractured beak. surgery was successful, but he will be in a cast until it is fully healed, possibly several months. so, if the duck isn't able to work, how will he pay for his living expenses? aflac. like his rent and car payments? aflac. what about gas and groceries? aflac. cell phone? aflac, but i doubt he'll be using his phone for quite a while cause like i said, he has a fractured beak.
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[ male announcer ] send the aflac duck a get-well card at
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this afternoon president obama will name sally jewell as his nominee to be secretary of the interior deplacing ken salazar. jewell comes from the private
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sector. she is the ceo of rei, the $2 billion a year outdoor manufacturer. before her stint there, jewell spent time as a commercial banker and as engineer as mobile oil. according to the "washington post," while jewell boasts less public policy experience than other candidates who had been under consideration, she has earned national recognition for her management skills and support for outdoor recreation and habitat conservation. as an enthusiast for outdoor gear, sally jewell is from seattle. she works for rei. she pushes for conservation in her home state of washington. and she also worked for mobile oil and as secretary of the interior will have to oversee fracking regulation. is it a controversial pick? >> well, no. i read bruce babbitt was
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attacking the gas drilling. so maybe that will come up from environmentalist in congress if there are any. >> that is an important caveat. >> maggie, i feel like we're talking about sally jewell more than we would perhaps in other interior secretary pick. because the president has sort of faced some criticism for a lack of diversity both in terms of -- >> he has? >> -- race and gender. is sally jewell enough to quell the controversy? >> i think it will at least temporarily. as an asterisk to what you said, i think fracking is pretty controversial. and i don't know whether there are so many conservationists in congress, i think this is at least a headline for a couple of days. i think the white house is very conscious of the criticism about pot having enough women around and so i think that that is a big part of this and a big part of the focus. i don't think it's going to be enough to quell this permanently, but i certainly think that --
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>> you would think prp republicans would like someone coming from the petroleum world to be in charge of fracking policy. right? i mean, that would seem to be a good thing for them despite the fact that she likes the outdoors and pushes for land conservation. >> it's an emotional post. we remember james watt, dirk kempthorne. >> who i think about every day. >> who wore a hat. >> much like ken salazar. >> not the same person. >> not the same person. their want to wear hats. >> but not a leopard skin pill box hat. >> that is also true. >> it may actually help her that she worked for mobile oil. because presumably she'll advocate the administration's policies and that gives her some credibility. sort of like having an engineer in the cabinet, it seems like a
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plus. >> and you have to think that the president gets pill arrestried for the permitting process when in reality he's not that much different where george bush was in terms of numbers of permits. so given all that, i don't know what that chart is, but it looks like a good one. oh, that is the government bar chart showing acres of public lands protected by the administration. obama has protected 2.6 million acres which is less than ronald reagan, george h.w. bush, bill clinton and george w. bush. interesting these picks. we'll nominate brennan and we'll nominate sally jewell and whether there's actually going to be a substantive discussion about energy, climate issues and also national security policy remains to be d. on that very thoughtful note, i will leave the program. thank you to rick, john, maggie and hugo and don't forget to pick up john's book, thomas jefferson, the art of power. that's all for now.
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i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern 9:00 a.m. pacific when i'm joined by sam stein, michael haney and the aclu. you can find us on facebook. andrea mitchell reports is coming up next. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 when i'm trading, i'm totally focused.
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